Medically reviewed by:
Benjamin W. Szerlip, D.O.Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon
We use our shoulders every day, sometimes even subconsciously. However, when we start noticing pain, even seemingly small activities can become very taxing.
There are several reasons why you may be experiencing shoulder pain. One prevalent cause of shoulder pain is subacromial impingement syndrome.
At OrthoNeuro, our highly-trained, board-certified specialists have many years of experience treating subacromial impingement.
Schedule an appointment with us today to get an accurate diagnosis of your shoulder pain and receive any treatment that may be needed.
Perhaps you have never heard of this condition before, and that is ok. We have provided the answers to some common questions below.
Subacromial impingement syndrome (also known as shoulder impingement syndrome) is a painful condition that develops when your rotator cuff repeatedly rubs between your upper arm (humerus) and the outer tip of your shoulder (acromion).
This repeated friction results in irritation, pain, and swelling and can cause the space between the rotator cuff and acromion to become more narrow.
The subacromial space is located above your glenohumeral joint (ball and socket) but below your acromion.
Within your subacromial space, you will find your rotator cuff tendons, your subacromial bursa (a fluid-filled sac that prevents friction between the rotator cuff tendon and acromion), biceps tendon, and coracoacromial ligament.
Due to a lack of space, it becomes easier for your acromion to “impinge on” the muscles and rotator cuff tendons. If your muscles and tendons are not able to glide through smoothly, they can easily get pinched or compressed, causing inflammation and irritation.
Shoulder impingement syndrome can include a wide variety of subacromial pathologies, including subacromial bursitis, partial rotator cuff tears, and rotator cuff tendinosis.
Shoulder impingement is very common, and it can occur in any age group but typically affects patients with increased activity levels or repetitive movements.
Athletes (volleyball players, baseball pitchers, weightlifters, etc.), manual laborers, and people working at a desk for long periods.
If you have shoulder impingement syndrome, you may experience:
Subacromial impingement can be caused by various factors, including:
Your specialist will begin by reviewing your medical history and doing a thorough physical examination of your shoulder. Your exam may include:
There are a variety of treatment options for shoulder impingement. The goal is to decrease your pain and resolve the mechanical problem that has caused the irritation. This can be accomplished by both non-surgical and surgical methods.
If your impingement has not caused damage to your ligaments and tendons, or you are at the early stage of impingement, then conservative treatment may be effective in helping reduce your pain.
If your shoulder does not respond to these non-surgical treatments or an MRI shows a complete rotator cuff tear, then surgical treatment may be considered.
Typically, if surgical intervention is needed to treat shoulder impingement, it would be done arthroscopically.
Arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure used to treat shoulder injuries.
During the procedure, your surgeon will look into the subacromial space by using small cameras and instruments to repair the damage and reduce your pain.
Before starting treatment, though, your specialist will review all the treatment options that are available to you to ensure that the right methods are chosen for your goals and lifestyle.
The healing time for a subacromial impingement will vary from person to person. If you are consistent in adhering to a conservative treatment plan, you may start to see improvement within a few weeks or months.
If surgery is recommended, your healing process will require additional time. However, once your surgery is complete, physical therapy can be very helpful in your recovery journey.
Although having shoulder pain can be a source of great stress, you do not have to suffer forever. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts at OrthoNeuro for a proper diagnosis of your symptoms.
We have several offices located throughout the Greater Columbus area. We can help you return to a life that you love. Contact us today!
Urgent Care Centers:
© 2024 OrthoNeuro